Wente Vineyards

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Detox Then Retox in Wine Country

Photo credit: Aubrie Pick The first time I heard of a winery offering a yoga class was in 2008, at Periscope Cellars in Emeryville, CA.  This was actually a yoga class where you sipped wine as you held various poses.  We shot a session for an episode of In Wine Country and I love the shot at the end of the woman holding the wine glass with her foot. Since then it seems that no matter where you are in American wine country you’re not far from a yoga class at a winery.  You can do your best downward dog at wineries in Temecula, CA, in the Lehigh Valley, PA wine country or along the Loudoun Wine Trail in Virginia.  The trend has also taken off in Canada, especially in the Niagara grape growing region where there’s a Yoga in the Vineyard Facebook page with 239 “likes.” In addition to yoga, you…

12 Livermore Valley Wines You Need to Drink Now

In Northern California wine country, Napa Valley and Sonoma County get all the attention.  Another wine region I love is Livermore Valley, an easy drive from San Jose and Silicon Valley, and 35 miles east of San Francisco.  Livermore boasts 50 plus wineries and is still growing, with about eight new wineries that launched in the past 5 years.

Why do I love LV wine country?  Great wines are a big draw, but what’s even better is that most wineries are small and family owned.  That means you have a good chance of the winemaker or owner actually pouring your wine, which happens rarely in Napa or Sonoma (unless you make an appointment, but I digress).  Because these wineries are not as well known, you don’t get huge crowded tasting rooms or bus loads of tipsy visitors.  The roads are not clogged with tourists as they are in Napa Valley, especially in the summer.  There’s plenty to do besides taste wine, from playing golf or bocce ball to biking and eating well.

DRINK – Tasting the “new generation”

Now this is the way to hold a seminar…with wine tasting between and even during sessions.  Three California wine organizations held this event at Cavallo Point (in Ft. Baker on the Marin side of the Golden Gate).  The 40-something and younger winemakers were pouring their wines, and talking it up on subjects ranging from wine styles to the impact of social media.  They’re a passionate, dedicated group and their wines are worth discovering, or trying again.  Karl Wente’s wearing thong sandals, which pretty much sums up the casual laid back atmosphere for me.  One vintner said he thinks the California style is going back to the basics, with natural yeasts and fermentations. Star Lane and Dierberg Estate Winery – winemaker Nick de Luca was pouring a ’08 Dierberg Chard that was crisp and fruity, with a kiss of barrel. I’ve been to the Star Lane ranch property, in the Santa Ynez…